Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Grade Two: Using Collage To Tell Stories

Students in the second grade began this lesson with a visualization exercise to help them picture images in their minds with their eyes closed while listening to a reading of "Aladdin and the African Magician" from the ancient collection, A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. After the story was read aloud, students were shown a collage inspired by the same story by artist, Henri Matisse entitled, The Thousand and One Nights. Students were then asked to find shapes which depicted some of the key elements of the story, including two magic lamps, lightning and a cave. Students were led to notice how Matisse chose only a few shapes to represent what he felt were some of the important parts of the story, while also incorporating other shapes and cutting techniques to create an visually interesting composition. Students were also shown examples of picture books illustrated with collage by several contemporary illustrators such as Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert.

Students were then instructed to create a collage based on a favorite story of their choosing. Fairy tales, ghost stories, myths, folklore, movies, and chapter books were all among the many ideas selected for this lesson.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Little Red Riding Hood

Sleeping Beauty

Star Wars

Jurassic Park

Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets

Hansel and Gretel

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Kindergarten: Fabulous Feasts!

Many artists use food as subject matter for their work, and food is often present at celebrations of all kinds. Kindergarten students have spent the past few months focused on the many aspects of celebration: masks and costumes, party drawings and now feast collages! After identifying what a “feast” is, students discussed the selected food-related artworks before listing their own favorite foods they would enjoy.

Students were then instructed to create a feast by cutting out appropriate shapes and colors to represent various foods, imagining the colored paper background as their placemat. Small details and texture could be added using markers, and students were encouraged to include and think about other table-setting objects such as dishes, flatware and drinking glasses.

Grade One: Drawing Animal Textures

Students in the first grade have been learning how artists use the element of texture in their work. For this lesson, students examined how artists use pattern and line to give the illusion of texture in a drawing, painting or print that is actually smooth in surface texture. Students first looked at several photography examples which depicted many kinds of different textures and were asked to use their eyes to indentify and describe the textures they saw. Then, first graders were shown two examples of artworks featuring animals: Rhinoceros by Albrecht Durer and Hen by Saul Steinberg. Students were led to notice that line variations, shapes and patterns must be made to convey differences in hair length, scale size or bumpy skin.

Students were then asked to choose a photograph of an animal to draw using colored pencils and crayons and were required to draw the texture of that particular animal as they saw it in the photograph. Students were also instructed to give consideration to coloring, scale and proportion.

Grade Four: Analogous Landscape Painting

After a previous discussion and exploration of the style and techniques of Impressionist painting, fourth graders looked at Meadow of Giverny by Claude Monet, which depicts the artist’s understanding of using the full spectrum of the color wheel. Students were guided to notice the use of analogous colors, which are the colors next to one another on the color wheel. When colors are planned in this way in a painting, they create a more noticeable impact upon the viewer’s eyes when looking at the painting. Students were also led to notice that all colors can be changed to make a stronger visual impact when painting.

Students were then given photographs of various colorful landscapes to use as reference for their own paintings. Students were given a full spectrum of colors, but were instructed to mix and modify their colors in order to use colors more inventively. They were also encouraged to use analogous colors to make their painting sparkle with light.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

January Masterpiece of the Month: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent

Who Made It?
An American artist named, John Singer Sargent, created this painting in 1885.

Where Is the REAL One?
The real painting can be seen at The Tate Gallery in London, England.

Why Is This Artwork Important?
This painting is named after a famous song from the year it was painted and it takes place just after sunset in the evening. Sargent felt the glowing light he captured in this painting was completed after two months of autumn evenings. Sargent felt the glowing light he captured in this painting was “the sight of paradise”. In fact, this painting was completed after two months of autumn evenings. The two girls, named Polly and Dolly, were the young daughters of friends with whom Sargent was staying for a visit. Every afternoon he would play tennis until twilight, when the light was absolutely perfect, and the games would stop. The girls would take their positions and Sargent would paint as quickly as possible for a few minutes, until the light changed, and the tennis game would continue. This painting is from a small person’s viewpoint, so the flowers are oversized as if seeing them from a child’s perspective.